Our prediction for this match:
Elbasan Arena will host Wednesday’s friendly between Albania and Kosovo. The Albanians have been struggling in front of goal in 2020, with the team failing to find the net in the previous three games in all competitions, but, no doubt, they are highly motivated to beat their neighbours in Elbasan. Despite failing to open his goalscoring account in the Austria Bundesliga this season, Bekim Balaj will be the man to watch in the home team.
Kosovo boss, on the other hand, welcome Bundesliga ace Milot Rashica back to the starting XI after the Werder Bremen man misses the October fixtures through injury. The Kosovars have been making progress year by year, and even though they have been struggling in the Nations League this term, we predict that they are going to hold Albania to a draw at Elbasan Arena. Since Kosovo failed to find the net in the previous two games on the international stage, a low-scoring affair is on the cards.
Highlighted Player (Elseid Hysaj):
Born on 2nd February 1994, Elseid Hysaj is an Albanian defender who has spent his entire professional career in Italian Serie A and he is predicted a bright future in the game. Empoli scouts spotted his talent while he was playing for Shodra youth sides, and after three years in the youth team, the full-back was promoted to the first team set up.
Hysaj performed really well in his first three years as a first team regular, helping the Azzurri gain promotion to the top fight in the process. One season in Serie A proved enough for the right-sided defender to secure a big club move as he joined Napoli in the summer of 2015 and immediately nailed down a regular starting berth.
Capable of doing dirty defensive work as well as making forward runs, Hysaj is a modern full-back, who is destined for big things. The talented footballer is already a key member of the Albania national team and he will represent the country at the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Kosovo):
Despite the fact that a number of countries have yet to recognize Kosovo, they have been participating in the World Cup qualifiers September 5, 2016. Kosovo did well to hold Finland to a 1-1 draw in their opener, but they were outclassed by Croatia (0-6) in their second group game.
Albert Bunjaki’s men have slim chances of qualifying for the showpiece tournament in Russia, but, no doubt, they will use qualifying matches to gain a much-needed experience. Kosovo recorded their biggest win over Monaco on April 22, 2006, but they were not a member of FIFA back then. The Kosovo national football team played their first ever international friendly against Haiti in March 2014 and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Kosovo footballers wear blue shirts and black shorts when playing at home, while they play in yellow shirts and yellow shorts when facing their rivals on the road. Albert Bunjaku, who played for the likes of Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern in the past, is the team’s most notable player.